My friends in New York City were constantly referring to this culinary delight called “crack pie.” Perhaps because I had never tried it, perhaps because I don’t live in NYC, but “crack pie” seemed like a surreal sweet treat that I wasn’t sure really existed. It is served at Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC, and it is supposedly one of a kind. Chocolate? No. Nuts? No. Fruit? No. Can only have one slice? No. Ok, now I am intrigued.
So, without hesitation, I had made a vow that next time I was in NYC and had a moment (which is rare), I would indulge myself in this so-called, out of this world “crack pie.”
But, to my amazement, I opened my September Bon Appetit to see the infamous “crack pie” recipe from the chef herself! I surely had to try to make it.
I will admit, it takes some time – you make an oatmeal cookie, crumble it, then add butter and brown sugar for the crust. Then, you make the filling, bake it, then let it set overnight in the fridge before having a piece.
The anticipation was killing me – I spent much of my Sunday making this pie and then had to wait until the next day to see what all the fuss was about. Fortunately, it was Labor Day weekend, so Monday I was at my house at lunchtime. Yes, after lunch, my husband and I dug into that pie like nobody’s business.
Oh. My. Goodness. It is like nothing I can describe…almost like a pecan pie without the pecans, but oh so much better. It has a sweet creaminess of the dry milk and cream, then a saltiness and heartiness of the oatmeal crust. Now, I see what all the fuss is about.
This pie is sure to get an amazing response if you bring it to a party, make for friends, or if you are like me – eat the entire thing in your 2-person household minus a few pieces that went to your neighbors!
Thanks Momfuku Milk Bar and Bon Appetit for allowing me to see the light!
Makes 10-12 Servings
Oat cookie crust:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
5 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (for dusting)
For oat cookie crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly to edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.
Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl; add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer. Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold.